Emerald Foundation Names Winners

APEGGA members and permit holders play critical roles in helping Alberta and the world develop an environmentally sustainable economy. Once again, the list of winners in the Emerald Awards makes that connection very apparent.

Winners in the 13th annual awards of the Alberta Emerald Foundation for Environmental Excellence were honoured at a gala event in Edmonton June 9. This year, four members and permit holders are named in the awards, and that doesn’t include the many others working behind the scenes.

A foundation established in 1997 to literally spread the light was recognized in the not-for-profit association category. Light Up the World is dedicated to bringing affordable, safe, long-term and environmentally sustainable home lighting solutions to the one third of humanity living in virtual darkness after sundown.

Light Up the World was established in 1997 by member Dave Irvine-Halliday, P.Eng., PhD. Since its inception, the foundation has illuminated the lives of some 20,000 people in Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and other countries. APEGGA honoured Light Up the World and Dr. Irvine-Halliday with a Summit Award® in 2000.

Alberta’s two largest municipalities, both APEGGA permit holders, received Emeralds as well – the City of Edmonton for its waste management branch’s public education programs, and the City of Calgary for its corporate ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

Edmonton, which won in the education, other organization category, has made public education an integral part of its 30-year waste management strategy. The strategy builds upon Edmontonians’ support of the 4Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover – and fosters participation in environmentally sustainable waste handling practices.

The branch uses “a creative blend of public education designed to enhance awareness, break down barriers and lead to behavioural change,” says an Emerald Awards backgrounder. The strategy appears to be paying off, with Edmonton boasting some of North America’s highest participation rates in residential recycling, proper household hazardous waste disposal and composting.

The City of Calgary’s Emerald Award is under the government institutions category. Just how committed is Calgary to becoming an environmentally sustainable community?

The Emerald backgrounder notes that Calgary is providing the leadership to conserve, protect and improve the environment for Calgary and its regional community through the implementation of a corporate-wide environmental management system. The system is ISO 14001 registered – making it the first North American city to achieve a corporate-wide registration to the highest international standard.

The city’s environmental management system provides a foundation for continual improvement through measurable goals, monitoring and reporting, and provides a sustainability framework. Sustainability initiatives include triple bottom-line decision-making, partnering with the business community, engaging citizens, and involving the city with national and global initiatives.

In the large business category, the Hinton division of Weldwood Canada Ltd. was awarded for its Special Places in the Forest program. Weldwood identifies areas within its forests that need protection or special management.

Values are attached to the places, based on wildlife, recreation, education, geology, and cultural and historical significance. Says the Emeralds backgrounder: “This ongoing program far exceeds legislative requirements and includes a system for the public to nominate additional sites.”


What is the Emerald Foundation?

• Founded in 1991 by McLellan Ross LLP, the Alberta Government and Deloitte & Touche to recognize outstanding initiative and leadership Albertans were demonstrating in the face of environmental challenges

• Awards program created to celebrate Albertans’ environmental achievements

• Foundation has encouraged individuals, corporations and other groups and organizations to participate for the last 13 years

• Each year an independent panel of judges reviews about 100 nominations

More Information

Becky Vander Steen
1-800-219-8329, 780-413-9629
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